July 28, 2011

MWC 2011 Preview: Wyoming Cowboys


When your team loses a lot of experience on both sides of the ball, it’s nice to know you have an experienced signal caller under center (or in the shotgun, at least). Such was the case for Wyoming, who was ready to roll for a third season with Austyn Carta-Samuels, the 2009 MWC freshman of the year.

That was, of course, until January 10, when the man Wyoming fans called ACS announced he was leaving the program.

The Pokes will now look to some talented-yet-very-inexperienced quarterbacks to lead them as they look to improve upon their one conference win last season. Wyoming does not have a QB with a single Division-I snap on the roster, so they will look to true freshmen Brett Smith and Adam Pittser. Pittser is a solid recruit, but will have to work to overtake Smith who enrolled early and participated in spring practice. Redshirt freshman Emory Miller was also in the mix, but has left the program for undisclosed reasons which are thought to be related to an illness in his family.

Alvester Alexander will carry the
load for Wyoming's offense
The quarterback, whoever it might be, will need to depend on running back Alvester Alexander to propel the offense, especially since Wyoming’s top-two pass catchers in David Leonard and Zach Bolger both graduated. Alexander rushed for 792 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. There is also hope that athletic receiver Robert Herron will be able to carry a larger load as a receiver after contributing much in the run game last season. Despite being young, the sentiment in Laramie is that Dave Christensen finally has the players he wants to run his offense.

Last year, the defense gave up an average of 30 points per game and just under 415 yards per game. While the Pokes do return a good amount of experienced talent such as defensive end Gabe Knapton, they did lose their top-two tacklers from last season in defensive backs Shamiel Gary (transfer) and Chris Prosinski (draft). Unless someone steps up, Wyoming’s pass defense could struggle.

Beginning the season against Weber State and Texas State should help Wyoming come together while still picking up some wins (but two games versus FCS opponents means the Cowboys will have to win 7 games to be bowl eligible). Wyoming also draws a big home non-conference game with Nebraska.


SCHEDULE & PREDICTIONS

Date/Time
TV
Opponent
Zach
Brett
Sat. 09/03/11
7:00 p.m. MT
---
WEBER STATE
W
W
Sat. 09/10/11
4:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
TEXAS STATE
W
W
Sat. 09/17/11
Time TBA
---
at Bowling Green
W*
W*
Sat. 09/24/11
5:30 p.m. MT
Versus
NEBRASKA
L
L
Sat. 10/08/11
6:00 p.m. MT
---
at Utah State
L
L
Sat. 10/15/11
12:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
UNLV
W*
W
Sat. 10/29/11
8:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
at San Diego State
L
L
Sat. 11/05/11
12:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
TCU
L
L
Sat. 11/12/11
12:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
at Air Force
L
L
Sat. 11/19/11
12:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
NEW MEXICO
W
W
Sat. 11/26/11
12:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
at Boise State
L
L
Sat. 12/03/11
12:00 p.m. MT
The Mtn.
at Colorado State
L
L
* Denotes toss-up
5-7
5-7



































(schedule courtesy FBSchedules.com)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Probably a little too rosy of an outlook for Wyoming this season. No chance they will win their first three games -- there will be at least one slip up in there, more likely with Bowling Green. And Wyoming can always be counted on to put in a real stinker in one of the conference games they are expected to win, so beating both UNLV and UNM will not happen. The Utah State game is also far from being a gimme, especially with Wyoming likely to be really beaten up with plenty of injuries following the Nebraska game. I fear a 2-10 or another 3-9 season, which would probably mean David Christensen would become attached to the hot seat with the upcoming '12 season make or break for him more likely than not. But all things considered, a 4-8 season is probably what will end happening, and that means Wyoming will still be years away from even challenging for a conference title, all things remaining equal, which for Wyoming's sake probably won't....

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